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The 21-year old, who is on loan from the Blaugrana, has told Goal.com that he is in no doubt who will be crowned Primera Division champions this season...

Sporting Gijon defender Alberto Botia discussed with Goal.com his disappointment after his side’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, and also commented that he felt Barcelona have the credentials to retain their Primera Division crown.

The men from Asturia took a shock lead in the Santiago Bernabeu through David Barral, before three quick-fire goals gave los Blancos the points and left Botia and his teammates thwarted.

Speaking after the match, Botia said that he was pleased with the way that he had played, but was unhappy with the result – particularly with the controversy caused by Van der Vaart’s equaliser, where he appeared to use his hand to control the ball.

He stated, “We had a good game. We did well to endure the first half, to keep the score at 0-0, but then they get a goal with a clear handball from [Rafael] van der Vaart that the referee did not see, they tie at 1-1, and then a different game starts.

“But we are satisfied because we played well and we will keep fighting and working hard to achieve the objective of playing in the first division.”

Botia discussing the result, exclusively with Goal.com

Botia was clearly unhappy with the handball of van der Vaart, and added that he had clearly seen the illegal action that allowed the Dutchman to fire the ball home.

He continued, “It was clear that he used both hands to control the ball, which has helped him. This has been very clear, and we have tried to protest to the referee, but there is nothing we can do. It was a clear error and this sometimes happens to the smaller teams.”

The 21-year old is on loan with the Rojiblancos from the Camp Nou until the end of the season, where is expected to return to fight for his place with the Blaugrana. Botia was unequivocal in his belief that the club that own his contract will be triumphant for the second consecutive season.

He added, “I have faced both Barcelona and Real Madrid this season, and I think Barcelona are a step or two ahead. I think that Barcelona is now stronger and will end up winning the league.

“Barcelona has already shown that it knows how to win here [at the Santiago Bernabeu], with the result it has shown last season. Barcelona has a much higher level, a better team, and they will demonstrate this.”

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